Automated Breast Ultrasound

Automated Brest Ultrasound (ABUS) is specifically designed for detecting cancer in dense breast tissue by providing a comprehensive view of the breast. With mammography alone, dense breast tissue can make it more difficult to identify the appearance of tumors, which is why your doctor may recommend ABUS.

In average risk women with dense breasts, adding ABUS to routine screening mammography increases the detection of breast cancer by 36-167%. These cancers tend to be small, invasive, and node negative.

Currently offered at our Hermitage, Meadowlark, Lendurm, and Millwoods locations, ABUS is a quick, painless exam, with no radiation being used.

What Can I Expect?

After changing, the technologist will position you lying down with your arm raised. Gel/lotion will be applied, and the scanner will gently compress the breast tissue as the images are obtained. The process will be repeated as needed to ensure the entire breast has been imaged. This will then be done on the other breast. Results will take approximately 3-5 days and will be sent directly to your family physician.

Dense Breast

Why Get ABUS?

Adding ABUS to screening mammography significantly improves cancer detection.

Given its screening nature, further follow-up may be required. This may include being called back for additional images and/or undergoing a breast biopsy procedure.


If you have an Alberta Health Care card or valid health care card from out of province, there is no cost for an automated breast ultrasound (except in Quebec).


An automated breast ultrasound scan takes approximately 20-30 minutes to complete.


No, but some compression will be required in order to obtain quality images.

The same way you would prepare for a mammogram. Visit our Exam Prep page for a list of preparation instructions.

Yes, because only women with dense breasts on mammography need ABUS.

This exam will require a requisition given to you by your doctor or will come as a referral from our radiologist after your screening mammogram.

Exam Preparation

Being prepared for your ABUS exam helps us take the best possible images for diagnosis. Please visit our exam prep page for more instructions specific to ABUS.